The heart and soul of the Trent Market Garden are the students who own and run it, and the farm would not exist if It weren’t for their love for the project and their spirit of volunteerism. At its inception, the TMG was wholly volunteer based and the team was made up of mostly students with the support of some faculty and university staff. As part of the broader Trent Experimental Farm, the TMG became part of a larger vision for a more sustainable campus and food supply system.

The seed capital needed for the Trent Market Garden was mostly donated by food services provider Chartwells, a division of Compass Group, as part of a broader initiative to work more closely with students and universities to help develop a more sustainable and local food supply chain. By working with Chartwells, Trent University and Trent University Foodservices, the Trent Market Garden set out to produce vegetables that would then be sold to Chartwells and incorporated into the daily cafeteria menus. The Trent Market Garden was fortunate to also have received support from the student organization Sustainable Trent and community players such as The Peterborough Horticulture Society and TD Bank.

With the help of the supporters of the Trent Market Garden, students worked throughout the season and planted the seeds for what has now grown into a viable and beneficial market oriented small scale farm. Without the shared vision and dedication of all those involved in getting the TMG started, the farm would not have become a reality. The Trent Market Garden would like to thank each and every one of those people who helped make the farm what it is today.      

Taking the vision of a sustainable market garden at Trent University and making it into something tangible took a lot of hard ​​work and sacrifice. Having started with a fallow field, it was the tireless efforts of student volunteers that in turn sowed the seeds for the TMG. Without the dedication of the volunteers who made up this TMG seed team, the dream of a site where students could learn and apply agriculture skills while also running a viable social enterprise would simply not have become a reality.

The seed team was vast in numbers in the early part of the season, but many students had to leave to seek employment for the summer. There was a core team of those who remained on throughout the summer and juggled their time between the farm and part-time employment elsewhere. Emma MacDonald and Jonathan Duffy are two such students and together they collaboratively managed the TMG for the summer of 2015. Overseeing the development of the farm in the beginning required a high level of commitment and a vast amount of time, and both Emma and Jon were crucial to making sure the farm was able to take root. The Trent Market Garden recognizes the efforts of both Emma and Jon and is thankful to them both.
​​In 2016, Jonathan Duffy assumed the managerial role on the farm. Currently enrolled in the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program it was during his second year of studies that Jon helped to establish both the Trent Market Garden and the farm's parent organization the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Society (SAFS Society). As the student levy group that created the TMG, the SAFS Society’s mission is to create a community for Trent students in which they can share in the experience of learning about sustainable food and agriculture and in the process deepen their understanding of this important dimension of society.

Serving as the President of the society between 2015 and Spring of 2017, Jon has been committed on several fronts in working towards fostering a more conscious and aware student body who are taking steps in securing the future of sustianable food production and distirbution. As the farm manager for the 2016 season, Jon was able to bridge the gap between paid work and volunteerism by developing two part-time paid intern positions. Having worked over the winter planning production, Jonathan's efforts helped to train the next generation of TMG staff on how to effectively plan and carry out the operations of the farm. Jon also helped to forge a partnership with Meal Exchange ; a national chatitable organization whose aim is to raise awarness about food security on university campuses, and collaborated with them to facilitate the hiring a student through a Canadian Summer Jobs Program.   

Jon also  undertook a research course at the TMG that sought to examine the effects of different kinds of natural fertilizers such as cricket manure and chicken manure on peppers, squash and carrots. The reseach that the Trent Market Garden helped to facilitate for Jon not only worked towards his degree but also contributed to the colletive knowledge of the TMG. Jon helped demonstrate just how effective the Trent Market Garden can be as a site for rersearch, learning and meaningful employement.​ The Trent Market Garden is very grateful for Jonathan’s efforts in establishing the farm, and would like to thank him for all of his help.     

For the 2017 season, the Trent Market Garden will be managed by Adam McLaughlin. Having joined the TMG in 2016 as the farm’s assistant manager, Adam’s paid intern positon allowed him to learn the operations of the farm before having to take full responsibility for them. It is this succession design that Adam will once more seek to ensure unfolds by training the future caretakers of the farm. Beyond ensuring the production of the produce destined for the school’s cafeterias, Adam will also be implementing the TMG’s first community supported agriculture program and will also be ​​opening up new production areas in order to offer more research space, community outreach initiatives and production ​capability.    
As a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Sustainability Studies program , Adam’s research focuses on the interplay between civic agriculture and the social dimension of sustainability. To date, Adam’s research has demonstrated that much of the success of small scale farms is intimately linked to the needs and desires of the community that it seeks to serve. This understanding will guide him in how he steers the TMG over the course of the 2017 season. With much of his research intimately linked to the Trent Market Garden, Adam’s research is not only directly applicable to the TMG but it is also something he is living by being the farm’s manager and further demonstrating the experiential learning capacity of the TMG.        

Since joining the TMG team, Adam has brought his years of experience in facilitating the growth of food and farm work related skills and has dedicated a substial amount of time preparing the TMG for the 2017 season. By buliding off of the lessons learned last year on how to produce vegetables in greater volumes, Adam is planning production to better meet the needs of Chatwells and the Trent food community. In addition to this he is desinging and implementing the farm's firsrt Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program as a way to generate the necessary funds required to hire students and offer foundational and skill strengthening training. With the CSA model as a reflection of what Adam is currently studying in his research on civic agriculture, the TMG is once more acting as a site for the expression of what he is learnign as a student. The Trent Market Garden would like to thank Adam for his dedication and commitment to the farm and greatly appreciates his continued efforts in managing the TMG.           

Trent University Symons Campus

Trent Univerity's Experimental Farm - Trent School of the Environment 

Located on Trent University’s Symons Campus in Peterborough, Ontario, the Trent Market Garden is situated on the Trent Experimental Farm; a 33 acre site for faculty and students to engage in agriculture research and food initiatives. With the support of Trent University, the Trent School of the Environment and the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems department, the TMG became a real life experiential site where students could practice what they were learning in class. For the 2017 seaon, the TMG and the Trent School of the Environement will deepen their relationship and students will be hired through the school. The Trent Market Garden is thankful for the University’s support at all levels from administration to professors, and in particular would like to offer a special thank you to Mary O'Grady whose help and support means so much to the project.  
One of the keys to the success of the TMG has been its support from two faculty members in particular: Mehdi Sharifi and Tom Hutchinson. Professor Sharifi was pivitol in helping to create and seed the TMG, and at the time he was the Chair of the SAFS program and was able to provide the much needed institutional support and backing required to not only get the TMG going, but also the experimental farm. With his specialty in soil science and sustainable agriculture practices, his help was invaluable in the creation of some of the first research projects to be carried out on the experimental farm by both faculty and students. Having moved on to do research with Agriculture Canada, Mehdi’s time with the TMG is still to this day greatly appreciated.    

Over the last year Professor Hutchinson has become more involved with the TMG and is now the farm’s key faculty supporter. As a Professor Emeritus, Tom has a long history at Trent University and has been involved in many agricultural initiatives and research projects, in particular helping to establish the Trent Vegetable Gardens and their roof top garden. Tom’s research and interests in sustainable farming, ecological restoration and plant adaptation has contributed greatly to the collective knowledge of the TMG and to date he has supervised two separate research projects at the farm. The Trent Market Garden is very fortunate to have the support of Tom and thank him for his enthusiasm to see the farm continue to be a site for student knowledge production around sustainable agriculture. Such support is encouraging and will surely contribute to the success of the farm.  

Mehdi Sharifi

Tom Hutchinson ​​

Crucial to the success of the Trent Market Garden's efforts in developing and sustaining this unique system of food production and consumption is the help from Mark Murdock of Trent Foodservices and Chef Christopher Ennew of Chartwells. Knowing what can and cannot be incorporated into the menus is both fundamental and crucial to the TMG’s ability to effectively plan production and Chef Christopher has played a key role in this process. Because of his love for food, his appreciation for garden fresh vegetables and his desire to provide the best food possible for students, ​Chef Christopher has been supportive of the project from the get go and the TMG continues to work closely with him. 

​Equally important to the success of the Trent Market Garden is its ability to navigate and mitigate the institutional setting of being located on, and a part of, Trent University. Thanks to the guidance of Mark Murdock, the TMG’s success of establishing itself at Trent University was made possible. As Director of Trent Foodservices, Mark works towards creating a more sustainable approach to food delivery that places the students at its core, and the TMG is but one of the many ways he is contributing to this aim. Both Mark and Chef Christopher’s support for the Trent Market Garden has made the farm’s journey possible and a lot smoother. The TMG is very grateful for their help and thanks them both.  

Chef Christopher Ennew 

Moving into the 2017 season, the Trent Market Garden will continue to work with all of the stakeholders associated with the farm and build on both our successes and mistakes to further develop a more sustainable food supply system. Also the farm will begin to seek out new partnerships and extend the reach of the farm. As the TMG team grows and generates more enthusiasm among students, there is a new generation of people being drawn to the idea of doing agriculture differently and finding new ways to feed us. The Trent Market Garden would like to thank all those who have played and continue to play a role in helping the TMG become what it is, and what it can become. It is the ongoing efforts of the volunteers and students, farm staff and university faculty and staff that enable the TMG to continue its quest to become a site for civic agriculture. The Trent Market Garden is pleased and fortunate to be a part of such a community and would like to thank all of our supporters.

The Trent Market Garden


Trent Experimental Farm
484 - 9TH Line Douro
Peterborough, ON   
K9J 6Y1
​​ Mailing Address​​ ​​

Trent University
1600 West Bank Rd.
ESC C204
Peterborough, ON
K9L 0G2
Effective June 1st 2017
​Tues: 9am-12pm
Fri: 12pm-6pm                          
Sat: 9am-2pm

SASF Society 

Trent School of the Environment

Trent University's Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Program 

Trent  Foodservices